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Does my ds need to see a speech therapist?

(9 Posts)
peggotty Tue 23-Aug-11 08:26:31

He has developed problems with his speech in the last 4-5 weeks. I'm not sure if it is a 'true' stammer iykwim as he is generally getting stuck on a whole word at the start of a sentence, like 'I ..I..I..I..I..I want to tell you something mummy', rather than getting stuck on a sound or bring unable to get any words at all out. It seems to me that it's worse if he's trying to make 'an announcement' about something! He voice gets louder and louder when he's trying to talk and he takes huge gulping breaths as he tries to force the word out- it sounds painful! He's 3.7. I am just trying to ignore it at the moment. Funnily enough his sister had a similar thing at the same sort of age which she outgrew but his seems quite a bit worse. Any advice?! Thanks!

DaveGrohlsgirl Tue 23-Aug-11 08:37:28

See if there is a speech and language drop in at your GPs or local hospital, they will be able to assess him.
TBH alot of children go through this as their vocabulary increases and their ability to get all the words out isn't quite up to speed IYKWIM.
A drop in will be able to put your mind at rest.

JellyBelly10 Tue 23-Aug-11 08:45:38

My DS 's stammer started when he was about 2 and a half and at first (for almost a year!!) we tried to ignore it because everyone told us it wuld go away. When he was 3 and a half I went to be referred for Speech Therapy as it had not got better at all. We had a few sessions where they made us do Parent-Child-Interaction sessions where you play with your child and allow them to lead the conversation about the game and we were told to do this every day at home, which we did for months. Gradually his stammer got worse and worse until it used to make me want to cry when he was trying to talk to people because he just couldn't get out what he wanted to say. IN the Summer holidays before he started school in the September (so when he was about 4.9 years) I went back to the speech therapist and begged her to try something other than the passive playing thing. So she started something called the Lidcombe Programme, if you read up about it you'll see it also involves spending a set amount of time playing and interracting with your child but the interraction is much more focused on commenting on your child's speech, praising smooth speech and getting your child to recognise their own bumpy specch to get to a point where they can stop ita nd correct themselves. We attended SLT every week for abouta year and his stammer got so much better, almost not there at all most days. Unfortunately then he was diagnosed with a condition (Perthes Disease) which meant he underwent a lot of hospital treatment and a major operation and misseda lot of school etc etc so our focus went off the speech therapy as it just seemed so unimportant compared to what he was going through with the Perthes. So as a result there are times now when his stammer is pretty bad, and times when it is not too noticeable. Many children do grow out of tammers, in fact 1 in a 100 children will develop a stammer in early childhood and of that 1 % only 4% will retain it into adulthood. I think my DS will probably always have a stammer to some degree because he's had it now for over 4 years. But if your child's has only just started then there's every chance it will just magically go away. Take a look at the website www.stammeringcentre.org which has lots of very good information.

sheeplikessleep Tue 23-Aug-11 08:59:33

DS1 is 3.9 and has been seeing a SALT since he was 2.6 (he has speech delay). He developed a stammer at about 3.6. We were due for a SALT appointment at the same time and she reassured us that sounds like 'normal non-fluency'. Can't write much now, but key points she made were (1) the fact he looks quite distracted / not making eye contact when he is stammering - as though he isn't focusing on his speech (2) the fact he has just had a bit of a speech 'spurt' just before the stammer and (3) in majority of cases, they just outgrow the stammer.

She said not to correct his speech at all or to try to finish for him or to raise his awareness of the stammer at all, keep talking reasonably slowly, keep talking in shorter simpler sentences, avoid too many questions and don't put pressure on him language wise, just to comment on what is happening around him.

HTH.

Dulra Tue 23-Aug-11 10:00:19

Hi Peggotty
I would keep an eye on it but tbh I think it sounds quite normal. My dd just turned 4 sometimes does something similar often when she is bursting to tell me something she can't get the words out quick enough it is like her brain is working too fast for her speech iykwim. Think jellybell'ys advice is good on looking at the website and keeping on eye on it.
Jellybelly so sorry to hear your son was so ill hope he is doing better now
Dulra

peggotty Tue 23-Aug-11 17:14:33

Thanks everyone. Jellybelly, you've had a time of it with your ds sad. Will have a look at the website you recommend.

MrsHoolie Tue 23-Aug-11 20:46:21

My DD has started doing the exact same thing,she is 3.5.
I thought it was a stammer but she doesn't do it on random words just the first word of a sentence like your DS.
I haven't been worried about it ......til I found this thread!

pranma Tue 23-Aug-11 20:49:56

My dd started to stammer at around 3 but it soon passed.HV said it was because she was trying to get too much said at once-her brain was working ahead of her tongue apparently it is very common at this age and had self corrected by age 4.Interestingly her ds,a very early talker,had the same problem at the same age and it went within a few weeks.Ask your hv but I bet she will say the same as me.

BlueArmyGirl Tue 23-Aug-11 20:55:58

The thing with stammers is they are developmentally normal. However, normal developmental dysfluency shouldn't last very long and should come and go - over the course of an hour, day, week, should depend on the context of the conversation etc. But, the other thing about stammers is the longer they are left without treatment the more likely they are to persist. If there's not change in 4-6 months consider getting a referral to SALT.

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